How to Rewire a Lamp

How to Rewire a Lamp. You flick the switch and… everything’s not
illuminated? It may be your lamp needs a quick overhaul. Hey, lighten up, we’re here to help. You will need A lamp in need of re-wiring
A flat surface A folded blanket or towel A screwdriver Some electrical tape A pair of
wire cutters and strippers A new lamp socket with the switch of your choice 6.0 new lamp
cord ending in a pre-molded plug And some “hot glue” or glue dots suitable
for felt A pair of scissors (optional) and a sheet of felt larger than the lamp base
(optional). Step 1. Unplug the lamp and remove its shade, harp,
and bulb. Step 2. With the folded blanket or towel beneath it,
turn the lamp on its side and peel back or remove any felt covering the base. Step 3. Turn the lamp right side up and look for a
screw at the base of the socket. If there is one, loosen it with the screwdriver. Some older sockets simply screw on to the
lamp top and just need to be unscrewed. For some lamps it may be necessary to unscrew
and take out the knob in order to unscrew the socket. Step 4. Pull the socket up about 6 inches above the
lamp and cut the cord where it emerges from the bottom of the socket. Throw the socket away. Step 5. If it seems like threading the new cord up
through the lamp will be difficult, tie a knot in the old cord where it sticks out at
the top, then cut the cord about 10 inches from the bottom of the lamp. If threading the new cord up through the lamp
won’t be difficult, don’t tie a knot—simply turn the lamp on its side, pull out the old
cord, and thread through the new cord. Then skip ahead to Step 9. Step 6. At the cut end of the old cord, pull apart
the two strands for about 2 inches. Use the stripper tool on your wire cutter
to strip about half an inch of insulation from each end, exposing each wire. Do the same with the end of the new cord. If you don’t have a pair of wire cutters and
strippers handy, use a sharp pair of scissors to gently score the outer coating of insulation
all the way around each wire and then pull it off. Step 7. Twist—or “splice”—the exposed ends of
the old cord around the exposed ends of the new cord, and wrap the splice tightly with
electrical tape.Don’t use so much tape that the splice ends up wider than the opening
it needs to fit through. Step 8. Pull the old cord out through the top of the
lamp until the splice emerges and the new cord is about 6 inches above the top of the
lamp. Snip the electrical tape, undo the splice,
and throw away the old cord. Step 9. Take the new socket apart by pinching the
top part—or “shell”—near the base and twisting it free. Step 10. Pass the two strands of cord up through the
socket base, and tie an “Underwriters Knot” by making a loop with each strand of the split
cord, looping away from where the strands meet, then passing the end of each strand
through the opposite loop and pulling tight. Step 11. Determine which strand of wire is smooth,
with no ribs—this is the “hot” or “positive” wire. Loosen the brass screw of the new socket and
wrap the “hot” wire once around it. Make sure the edge of the insulation is right
up against the screw and no excess wire is sticking out past it. Tighten the screw to hold the wire in place. Step 12. Wrap the other (ribbed) wire—also known
as the “neutral” wire—under the other screw and tighten. Step 13. Reassemble the socket by twisting the shell
back onto the base. Pull the cord from the bottom of the lamp
until the socket is back in place, then tighten the base screw to secure it. Step 14. Re-affix the felt covering by lining the exposed
part of the base with hot glue and pressing the felt back into place. If you completely removed the felt you can
create a new covering to replace it. Using the lamp base as a guide, cut the felt
into the right shape, then glue it to the base. Step 15. Screw in a light bulb, replace the harp and
the shade, plug in your “new” lamp… and bask in the glow of your success. Did you know Indoor lights and light bulbs
were widely available by 1900, but most homes weren’t wired for electricity until the 1920s
and ’30s.

51 Replies to “How to Rewire a Lamp”

  1. because i used to have my own lamp manufacturing company i couldn't help watching this video. hated that it was so rushed. here's some helpful tips. stagger your splices to pull the new cord through. the underwriters knot is a great knot so do it for safety reasons. if yours isn't a rewired lamp chances are that it's a UL knot so you can use that as a guide. hot glue is ok but a thin coat of regular white glue like elmers would be better. cut your felt large, glue, trim off the excess.

  2. what was the point of splicing the ends if your just going to take the slice off anyways? Couldn't you just tie a knot?

  3. Either the transformer or ballast could be bad. If it has a starter, that could be bad as well. The starter is a little cylindrical shaped device that screws into the side of the fixture. You can get them for $5 or so. After that you're looking at a new ballast or fixture.

  4. Tape rule is specific to solid copper wire.
    They didn't do thay anyway.
    It is advisable to replace all damaged flexible appliance cords (SPT, etc) as they did with no splices. OR use an approved splice enclosure (suitcase)suited for the matching size and style of conductor.
    LOL "Hot" is not "positive" unless they are running the lamp on DC. in AC land the "identified conductor" is always common. On the lamp the identified conductor is the side of the cord with ridges. Hot is smooth.

  5. ¬¬ wire dont go dead unless its singed or the connection is faulty, check if it the lightbulb, or if u need a new fuse, no need to replace the whole wire

  6. i,m just happy to find a video easy to understand on this subject. why don,t some of you that are so quick to be critical make a better video showing your superior skills and knowledge on the subject. i would love a demo on how to turn a vintage chandolier into a table lamp.

  7. Thank you! I just purchased two old lamps yesterday at a garage sale for a dollar apiece, and this video shows me what I need to do to get them operational.

  8. Working with electricity is very dangerous, be extremely careful, and if you have any doubts, contact a professional

  9. Thanks, this was really helpful. Especially the part about determining which wire is the ground and which is the hot. Thanks very much! Keith.

  10. THANKS for posting this! I had 18 vintage 1950's~60's "Mad Men" style lamps in my collection! I rewired them using these instructions and sold them all in day at a flea market for 5x more than what I bought them for and the cost of the kits. BTW kits are cheaper when purchased in bulk from electrical wholesaler.

  11. @pfifofast Did i miss something? I swear the elctrical tape was temporary. Just be glad a women actually knows how to rewire a lamp.

  12. Thanks for posting this.

    Note: There are no + (Hot) or – (Neutral) signs in the socket for polarity. Sockets use metal colors for polarity. The Brass screw need the hot wire, and the silver screw needs neutral. They didn't explain this concept very well in this vid.

  13. This was extremely helpful for two old farts who knew absolutely nothing about repairing an old lamp! Thanks!

  14. Thanks for the video! I recently bought a Moroccan glass lamp in Europe, the plug only fits a European style socket. This seems easy enough to do. I think I'll give it a try. 🙂

  15. Thank you, very clear, although your hands partially obscured the underwriter's knot, which turned out to be the most difficult part. Also, you apparently forgot a step: attaching a plug to the new wire. Plugging it in to the wall without a plug can be dangerous.

  16. I've never done any sort of electrical work and just need some instruction to get a broken base off a lamp and wire it back up. This video helped a lot and I was able to do it!

  17. I have the wire cutters, but shouldn't you get the strippers after you already fixed the lamp? What good are strippers in a dark room?!

  18. Some lamp cords do not have a smooth part and a ridged part.
    The neutral wire is always identified by some means. In some cases, there will be small writing on the wiring case. In others, there are small ridges or indentations on the insulation.

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